Take Oakland +135 (#929)
The A's are as hot as any team in baseball right now; 13-3 in their last sixteen ballgames. They are coming off series wins on the road against division leaders Cleveland and Houston; a team that is oozing confidence as they head into their final series before the All Star Break. Note that the A's have cashed at these underdog prices: +220, +155, +190, +195 and +190….all in the last WEEK!
Oakland outfielder Mark Canha gives us a nice ‘bet-on' quote here: "We're a confident group and we know we're capable of playing like this. We're in a mind-set where we come to the field expecting to win every day. It's kind of a thing that snowballs."
Make no mistake about it – the A's bats are tearing the cover off the ball, pounding out five runs or more in five of their last six contests. That's bad news for a Giants team that hasn't been hitting with any consistency of late, held to three runs or less in eight of their last ten ballgames. Joe Panik is hurt, Evan Longoria is hurt – the Giants lineup is not at full strength right now, and it shows!
The Giants bullpen has a decent overall ERA, but they've struggled with blown save opportunities all year. They're currently tied for the MLB lead in a category no team wants to be leading in – blown saves! Madison Bumgarner isn't eating up innings and he struggled badly with his command last time out. It's surely worth noting that the Giants have a losing record with MadBum on the hill this season.
Oakland's Edwin Jackson is the ultimate ‘tired retread' starter; a guy the betting markets never seem to be particularly excited about. But the A's are 3-0 in his starts, Jackson has allowed only five earned runs in those three games, and the bullpen behind him is in decent shape tonight. Live dog here! Take the A's.